Local News

Several Stores Are Offering New Sony PlayStation 2 At Jacked-Up Price

Posted October 25, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Finding the newSony PlayStation 2Thursday morning was anything but child's play. The console usually sells for $299, but some stores were selling the systems for a higher price.

Jason Wolf does not know much about video games, but he does know that $799 is a lot to pay for one.

"They're making you buy the stand that most people aren't going to use in order to get the PlayStation," he says. "He had them. He knew he had them, and he's just ripping people off."

Other customers were shocked about the high price of the video game system.

"When they put that sign up, $799, it hurt," says customer Thomas McCargo. "I felt betrayed because I've been coming here for so long."

The manager of Buy-Rite Video Games on Capital Boulevard says the price includes software and accessories. He says the price is so high because he can only offer the PlayStation 2 as part of a package. He says small stores pay more to get the PlayStations and must pass along that cost to the consumer.

"We have to pay higher percentages, get less than nothing in stock, while the other stores pay less," says Buy-Rite's manager. "That's why they're able to offer it for less."

Kevin Weidner chose not to pay a premium for the PlayStation 2 on Thursday.

"I'm not going to spend $800 on a video game today," he says.

Others say the price was worth avoiding crowds at a bigger store.

"I believe this guy is doing a service letting people like me get it," says customer Larry Winters. "I didn't have to get in line at Wal-Mart and get trampled. I heard people got beat up at other places today. I walked in, got it and walked out."

WRAL did find a few people buying the PlayStation 2 even with the $799 price tag. Most parents said they decided to get the PlayStation 2 as Christmas gifts for their children because they were afraid they would miss out if they waited.

Buy-Rite Video Games is not the only store generating complaints. Despite the complaints, Buy-Rite has the right to sell the game at any price. There is no price gouging statute in North Carolina. A store in Smithfield is selling the PlayStation 2 alone for $599.